The good news keeps coming in the Eagle Ford. The latest headline says the shale development generated more than US $61 billion in revenue for South Texas in 2012. The figure comes from a study released March 26 by the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Community and Business Research. The study, which examined the 14 oil and natural gas-producing counties in the Eagle Ford as well as six surrounding counties, also predicted the development will generate $89 billion and 127,000 jobs for the 20-county region by 2022. This is something in which the oil and gas industry can take pride. The number of jobs in Bexar County alone skyrocketed from less than 5,000 in 2011 to more than 20,000 today, according to the study. During a time when the US economy continues to rebound, this shale play has done more than its share to breathe life into what once was a relatively sleepy part of Texas. But nowadays there is lots of action. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing paved the way for abundant supplies of energy resources, creating a ripple effect. More resources meant more support services; more logistics infrastructure; and more people in need of housing, food, and recreational activities. And the ability of operators in the Eagle Ford to increase shale oil production when commodity prices worked against gas producers showcased the shale play’s versatility, making it even more attractive. A few highlights from the study show the shale development: • Generated 116,508 full-time jobs across the 20-county region in 2012; • Added more than $1 billion in total local revenue in 2012; • Provided $1.2 billion in estimated state revenue in 2012; and • Created roughly $3.3 billion in salaries and benefits paid to workers. “In 2008, we saw very little activity in the Eagle Ford shale. Today, it has become one of the most significant oil and gas plays in the country and has generated a tremendous amount of wealth for Texas,” Thomas Tunstall, director of the UTSA Center for Business and Community Research, and the study’s principal investigator, said in a news release about the study. “Over the next 10 years, the annual revenue generated and jobs created will continue the steady progress upward, helping to ensure environmental and economic goals can be realized together. The goal is to create sustainable growth for the region.” The study predicted revenues will continue to increase. “Based on a moderate scenario, the total output for the 14-county area is $61.1 billion with a gross regional product of $32.9 billion. 89,803 jobs will be supported with a total payroll of over $4.6 billion. In 2022, government revenues will be increased to an estimated $1.8 million locally and over $1.9 billion at the state level, including severance taxes close to $971 million.” While this is indeed something to be grateful for, the development also has brought some growing pains. These have included, among other things, tattered roads and the need for more public involvement, including environmental regulation officers and emergency response workers. Those directly and indirectly involved in the shale play should use this study to facilitate better planning in response to the anticipated continued growth. “The research conducted at UTSA provides us with valuable information, findings and recommendations related to the Eagle Ford shale and its impact on Texas’ economy,” said Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. “This research is a wonderful resource not only for state policymakers and business leaders, but also for all stakeholders who are working to create sustainable communities throughout the shale region.” Contact the author, Velda Addison, at